The purpose of a site varies, but more often than not clients are looking for an online presence to raise awareness of their business and improve the number of customers.
In creating a site the most important drivers for the client can help me in advising on design, Information Architecture (IA) and User Experience (UX).
Are there any specific sites within your own line of business or others that you particularly like, and why is that you like them?
Answering this gives me a good idea of the type of design you are looking for – it can be based on one design or the different functions of a number of sites.
What age range are you aiming for? The age of your users can depend on how content is presented and what emphasis is put on social media and text based content.
What is the demographic of your target audience? This will determine how we focus content and design – for example, whether it be local, regional or international.
Stand out from the crowd and work out what your Unique Selling Point (USP) is. Keep this relevant and it will make marketing your site a lot easier and gives us a strong message to work with in improving your rankings in the search engine’s and creating your brand.
If you already have a logo it is good to pick your accent colours from this, but it is also down to personal preference.
Using colour can hilight various elements of the design, but if you have a bold colourful logo it may work best to tone down your accent colour so as not to detract from it. The inverse is true if you have a plain logo.
Do you have a website address and hosting already? If you do, you will need to provide the usernames and passwords.
If you need a new address have you thought of what you would like? For the purposes of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) it is best to choose an address which is descriptive of what you do and/or where you are (if location is important).
More often than not, a client will say ‘As soon as possible’, which is just fine but it does rely on having the bulk of the content ready to be published including;
Having established all of the above I will then be in a position to provide you with a quote which will lay out the scope of the project and detail what is included.
Generally I will use an off-the-shelf WordPress template to keep costs down, which is then developed to create a unique look and feel using coding and hand crafted graphics and photos. I have excellent coding skils developed over time and have worked with most open source content management systems.
I use Photoshop to develop my graphics and a basic level of illustration is included in the costs of all new website builds.
Each client will provided with comprehensive instructions on how to update and maintain their website – if they wish to do so, that is!